Newly-appointed Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano says there is need to improve transparency during elections.
In an interview, Thursday, Nshindano said part of his mandate was to ensure that there would be transparent elections.
“Whatever that I am going to do, I need to bear in mind that I am doing it for the Zambian people and not anybody else in line with the values of the Commission to ensure that there is transparent elections. And the values of the Commission speak to that: issues to do with impartiality, representative, transparency and non-discrimination. What I want to see, personally, in trying to deliver credible elections, is to help ECZ rise to a higher height above, of course, where my colleague (Chomba Chella) left off,” Nshindano said.
“There is a lot of scope for improvement, and this will be to take an open-door policy for all stakeholders to be able to welcome constructive criticism and beyond that, try to change the perception members of the public might have. There is currently a process that you might be aware of: the delimitation process and part of my role is to ensure that it is done effectively in all districts of the country. This is very important because this is going to improve the electoral process of the country.”
And Nshindano explained that the voter registration process would deal with the irregularities that characterized the disputed 2016 general election.
“The voter registration process is going to take care of some of the issues that came out of the 2016 general elections, the ghost voters and foreign voters and the aspect of voter apathy can be taken care of because people understand the importance of voting, and they will be rest assured that their vote is protected,” he added.
And asked how he would tackle intermittent political violence, Nshindano said he would work closely with all political parties.
“An election is not about ECZ. It is about all stakeholders. I will try very hard to work with political parties to try to tackle this in line with and the Electoral Code of Conduct to ensure that all political parties come to the appreciation that electoral violence does not help anybody. It also undermines the legitimacy of any election. What we want is that credible elections are delivered,” said Nshindano.